August 22, 2004–January 9, 2005

Art Deco


Art Deco, arguably the most popular style of the twentieth century, is indelibly linked to the modern world. "Art Deco: 1910–1939" displays dazzling facets of the era, opening a door to an age of refined design, elegant lifestyle, and modern technologies.

An overwhelming success at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the exhibition opens at the MFA, its final venue, on August 22. Among the show’s highlights is a re-creation of the Grand Salon from the Hôtel D’un Collectionneur, a room rich with craftsmanship originally displayed at the 1925 Paris Exposition, the defining moment of Art Deco. Other design masterpieces include a Cartier vanity case in the form of an Egyptian sarcophagus, Tamara de Lempicka’s world-famous painting Jeune fille en vert, and a sumptuous lacquered bed shaped like a canoe. Fashionable taste and the pleasure pursuits of the era are embodied in shimmering evening gowns, modern jewelry, cocktail shakers, cigarette holders, and numerous other luxury pieces.

Works in glass, plastic, and chrome reveal the advent of new materials and the streamlining of design, while an astonishing array of furniture, light fittings, sculpture, and ceramics represent skyscrapers, a dominant image of 1920s and ’30s American aesthetics. Enter this glamorous world of modernity and change, and enjoy the decorative forms, luxurious objects, and sleek, machine-age materials of Art Deco.